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Amira Learning Merges With Istation, Establishing a Dynamic Leader in AI-Driven Education

June 11, 2024

Kira Wolfe, Amira Learning

Strategic merger will result in 15 percent K-12 education market share, serving over 1,800 school districts by the end of 2024.

Amira Learning, the first AI-powered reading assistant that has helped millions of students with reading fluency and comprehension, today announced it has merged with Istation, a leading provider of adaptive and personalized digital learning solutions. Amira Learning will be the go-forward business. Together, the education technology leaders will form a powerful organization poised at the forefront of AI-powered literacy tools – bolstering market share to 15 percent of K-12 education, serving over 1,800 school districts globally by the end of the year. Amira’s AI tutor is known for its sophisticated speech recognition and AI-driven tutoring software delivering unprecedented gains in reading, and Istation is a trusted name among educators with vast distribution and an interactive, engaging content platform for students and teachers. Together, the companies will deliver AI-powered solutions that change classrooms for the better – serving four million K-12 students in all 50 states and 17 countries.

“Every generation learns to read in a way that mirrors the time. Long ago, it was ‘Dick & Jane’ readers. Then, it was ‘Sesame Street’ on TV. But, we’ve always struggled to help every child become a motivated and masterful reader,” said Mark Angel, CEO of Amira. “With Istation, we have multiplied scale and deepened experience in a way that will get our technology to more schools and classrooms and make a real difference in the lives of children.”

"With Istation, we have multiplied scale and deepened experience in a way that will get our technology to more schools and classrooms and make a real difference in the lives of children."

Istation is a leading proprietary assessment platform that has been adopted by more than 1,000 school districts. The product offers thousands of hours of digital gamified and deeply immersive content, and teacher resources. Amira’s impact-proven AI will complement the Istation product, which will remain fully operational and independent of Amira.

“Amira Learning has the most sophisticated speech recognition for elementary students in the world, ahead of Amazon, Google, and other giants,” said Dick Collins, CEO of Istation, who will transition into a new role as Co-Chairman of the Board. “On top of that, the intelligence of the software using AI as backbone enables a life-like interaction for young students to feel like they’re being individually coached by a sophisticated reading tutor. Combining this with our deep go-to-market expertise and the trust we’ve earned from educators is a perfect match.”

In its short tenure, Amira Learning has exceeded 10 billion spoken words with students globally, strengthening its sophisticated Large Language Model (LLM) and making it well-versed in an extensive range of accents and dialects. Pairing this data with Istation’s extensive content library spanning thousands of video-based lessons for students and lesson plans for teachers is the dawn of a new educational technology experience, one with leading-edge AI and gamified content.

Over time, customers of Amira and Istation will see new features and capabilities as the best of both products enhance one another. Amira Learning will still be accessible through leading partners like Houghton Mifflin Harcourt without any change. More announcements to follow.

ArentFox Schiff LLP served as legal advisors and Bridge Bank is providing the credit facility supporting the transaction and serves as the bank for Amira Learning. Foley & Lardner LLP served as legal advisor and Macquarie Capital Inc. served as financial advisor to Istation.

About Amira Learning

Amira Learning has developed the first intelligent reading assistant that listens to students as they read out loud, assesses mastery, ensures comprehension, and delivers personalized tutoring to accelerate reading mastery. The company was founded by a team of former engineers and executives from Pearson, IBM, ACT, and Renaissance and built from a foundation of 20 years of research from Carnegie Mellon University. Amira Learning’s mission is to help close the 43 million-person literacy gap in America by creating personalized and engaging reading experiences for children.

Headquartered in San Francisco, the company has raised more than $40M from investors, including Owl Ventures, Authentic Ventures, Vertical Venture Partners, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Outcomes Collective, Google Assistant Fund, Amazon Alexa Fund, ReThink Education, and GSV AcceleraTE. It is currently being used by more than 3,000 schools, reaching over two million students across nine countries.

About Istation

Istation is a leading provider of adaptive and personalized digital learning solutions that empower educators to maximize student growth and achievement. For over 25 years, educators have turned to Istation as an all-in-one solution for online assessment, instruction, and personalized learning. With Istation, schools get a time-saving program that powers pre-K through eighth-grade student achievement in reading, math, and Spanish literacy. Rooted in research and designed to ignite student joy in the classroom, Istation’s innovative platform drives instructional efficacy and elevates learning to superhero heights.